When you travel, it’s a chance to open your eyes (and your other senses) to the world and enrich your life with new experiences, and the Caribbean offers especially rich treats. There are incredible sights abound with natural wonders like reefs and volcanic spires, tropical music loved worldwide, and delicious dishes from The Bahamas to Barbados. Along the way, you can stop to smell the flowers—and the ocean air and local markets!
That’s why all Royal Caribbean cruises offer immersive shore excursions for every destination, so you can enjoy the best that each port has to offer.
Here’s why it’s worth a trip to the Caribbean to stimulate all five of your senses:
Taste, Puerto Rico
One of Puerto Rico’s most-loved dishes, mofongo combines sweet, fried and salty flavors into one of the best meals the island has to offer: It’s made from not-yet-sweet, fried plantains mashed with garlic, pork rinds, salt and oil in a wooden mortar. The mash is then shaped into a ball that’s perfect to absorb the signature creamy broth around it—usually including a rich mixture of garlic and olive oil with chicken, veggies, beef or even octopus.
Follow your nose on an aromatic adventure! Cinnamon, turmeric and cloves are some of Grenada’s largest exports, but nutmeg tops the list. This intense, nutty, slightly sweet spice was introduced to the island in the mid-1800s, and Grenada now produces more than 20% of the world’s nutmeg exports. There’s a fair chance you even have some scents from this Caribbean gem in your kitchen cabinet!
Jamaica is the home of reggae, and Bob Marley will forever be one of the most famous Jamaicans—and most important musicians. In fact, for any trip to Jamaica, one of the best things to do is visit his birthplace to learn about reggae and Rastafarian culture. But the musical traditions of Jamaica go much further, spanning calypso artists like Harry Belafonte, the lively beats of dancehall music and the birth of ska (a reggae precursor) thanks to artists like Desmond Dekker.
Sight, Perfect Day at CocoCay
Sure, there’s a private, luxury beach club and there’s the tallest waterslide in North America, but there is more you need to see about Perfect Day at CocoCay. For example, the Up, Up & Away helium balloon takes guests up to 450 feet above the island, providing the highest vantage point in The Bahamas with 360-degree views of white-sand beaches and beautiful blue waters for a sight that’s hard to beat.
Battered by the trade winds, the coastal Divi Divi trees dotting Aruba’s top-rated beaches are twisted into fascinating shapes, and locals say if you can follow the bend of their trunk it will lead you into town. This unique weathering of their bark makes for a one-of-a-kind sensory experience too. Gently run your fingers over their intricate gnarls, twists and turns, and you can feel the power of nature’s elements—and the perseverance of these hardy trees—in the rough exterior. While famous in Aruba, they’re also the national tree of Curacao and can be found in Bonaire as well.
As you cruise the Caribbean, you’ll experience a range of sensory wonders unlike anywhere else in the world. If you’re looking forward to planning your next getaway, head here to see where Royal Caribbean can take you.